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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23808
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I took my therapy dog to my vet after he'd been acting

Customer Question

I took my therapy dog to my vet after he'd been acting strande all weekend. On mon morning she gave him a pain shot and told me to give him 3 pills when I got home. He had been shanking and unsteady in his left front leg. I gave him the prednisone , muscle relaxer and pain pill after arriving home. He had a terrible seizure. Within 15 minutes. Two days before I had him at at hospice private home and let him run around saying hello to all the hospice patients. 8 days before I had an open house party and I didn't know everyone who came into my house . My beautiful golden as very sick by Tuesday. I took him to the emergency hospital at the advice of my vet They mentioned brain tumor . They took blood test. Good x rays good. But they anted to do a cat scan and I didn't think he would survive anesthesia. . So I declined. . They kept him there on iv fluids and prednisone and an anti-inflammatory of the brain. He improve for a day. And then when I went to pick him up his hind legs were paralyzed and he was walking on the back of his feet the upper part of his feet. . I took him back the next day and they put him on more steroids and anti-inflammatories for the brain. He got better while he was on the IV fluids. Then I had to board him for a couple of days while I went out of town and when I came back he was lethargic and couldn't walk on the final leg is fine legs were paralyzed. I asked the emergency vet if I should put them down and she said that I should gon for alternative treatment. I went to another vet and the vet said he had a fractured disc and that there was really no choice other than to put thim down have have extensive surgery possibly or chemotherapy or radiation if he had a brain tumor but sh thought it as a spine problem three vets and they gave me thre different diagnosis. After I put him down I started reading about bromaddiolone . I'm think maybe they missed that and he couldn't have been treated quickly. But it was too late. On August 8th after one week seeing 3 vets and 6200.00 spent I had to put him down. I hoping the vets know the info about this new rat poison. But they never mentioned it. He had almost all the symptoms. He gone and I'm utterly heartbroken and feeling guilty that I didn't think of suggesting poison as a possibility. But I gues know bromaddiolone poison when they see it.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Did you see what the dog ate?
Customer: No.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?
Customer: Yes his Thyroid levels came back low on the blood test
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

My condolences for your loss. I believe that you meant bromethalin rather than bromadiolone which is an anticoagulant rodenticide that can cause uncontrolled bleeding. Bromethalin is the newer rodenticide that can cause delayed signs over 24 hours such as muscle tremors, hyperexcitation, or seizures. A more insidious signs - hind limb paresis - can set in up to 5 days or more later. This may be progressive (fatal), permanent, or gradually improve. Most important - where would he have found a bromethalin-containing rodenticide to ingest?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
On the 23rd of July I had a party at my house. Connor was allowed to run free. I have an ex who doesn't like me for exposing her abusive personality and I thought she may have sent someone here and they may have planted something in my yard. As far as I can remember he had no symptoms the following week and that Fri I took him to a home hospice for therapy work. On sat and sun I began to notice him acting weird. He's had back attacks before so I thought I would wait for my vet to open on mon. On mon she said he had a cervical spine problem ( his left arm was weak but no prob with his hind legs ( hind legs always got weak in his previous back attacks that always went away in a day or two ) She gave him a pain shot and told me to give him three pills when I got home I did and he had a seizure 30 min after the meds. He went downhill and on Tuesday I took him back to her . She told me to take him to the ER vet and he spent the week there on IV . I was visiting him daily and I noticed on wed that he was knuckling on his hind legs. That was after 36 hours of manatol and other meds . The vet at the ER and my vet thought he had a golden brain tumor ( I never had a cat scan or spinal scan because he wouldn't have survived anesthesia . I regret that now because I would have known . He got better on Friday and sat. No more knuckling or paralysis in hind legs . They took him off IV and boarded him per my request. I'm n sun he was paralyzing hind legs again . I took him home and we had a goodbye party for him. I took him back to the ER on Monday and they suggested I take him to a vet for alternative treatment. That vet examined him and said he most likely had a fractured disk. I put him down there. Then when I went to pick up his ashes after he was cremated I asked to speak to another vet she looked at his records and said he had something called ECS.Im wondering if a brain tumor ( he had lost much his hearing in the previous 6 months) could have killed him that quickly ?I'm wondering if he was given rat poison on July 23 would I have seen smptoms the following week instead of 7 days later?It makes more sense that if he ate poison it was at the hospice visit the day before he starting showing symptoms .I'm just in shock at how fast he went in spite of the best medical treatment possible . The thought of someone deliberately poisoning him keeps me up at night . I guess because he went so fast that I started thinking that he was poisoned. Not sure if that's rational ? And I didn't think of poisoning until after he was put down. So he couldn't be tested.. I'm beating myself up for that . I know it's hard for you to diagnose without seeing him. But I just wanted your opinion on what could've killed him I know Golden's have a higher rate of cancer. My previous Golden died overnight from hemangeasarcona. I want to get another golden but I'm traumatized . Do labs have predisposition for cancer like goldens ?Thanks ,Brian
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Doc,I just realized that I repeated myself a lot from first e mail. Sorry.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for the additional information. His front leg involvement and seizure moves his disorder up from his neck into his brain. These symptoms aren't consistent with what we see with bromethalin. A brain tumor that had invaded vasculature in his brain causing a brain bleed can cause rapid decompensation and death. Yes, Goldens are now the #1 breed for the number and frequency of cancers that can arise in them. Labs aren't so affected.

Others encephalopathies are possible but less common in his breed - granulomatous meningoencephalopathy (GME) and steroid-responsive meningitis-arteritis, e.g. I don't know what ECS refers to. Hearing loss at his age is most often an age-related finding. Please continue our conversation if you wish, Brian.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
You're awesome. Thank you. ***** think is an Embolism in the spine caused by trauma. He was always twisting his body while making athletic catches with tennis balls. The reason I wrote to you is that I'll never have closure and I wanted to see why the vets didn't test for poison . I thought the brain tumor would cause noticeable symptoms gradually. It all happened in a week. This is as close to closure as I'll get. I very much appreciate your opinion thank u
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

Fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE) is the preferred term. It can look like a slipped disk but generally has a better prognosis. Many dogs are up and walking within 24 hours of such an embolism.

I understand, Brian. My condolences for your loss. You're quite welcome. You may receive an inappropriate follow-up from the site ostensibly sent by me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
10-4 Thx again
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

You're welcome.